These lemon bars are not for the faint of heart. If you like your lemon desserts in the form of a cheesecake or a gelato (or in some other creation that involves milk or creaminess to cut the zestiness of the lemon), this recipe is not for you. These bars have an unapologetic bite to them and I love them for it. Billed as the “Perfect Lemon Bar”, I am inclined to agree. The crust is a basic shortbread and the lemon curd filling is just lemon juice, sugar and eggs. They whip up quickly with an ideal crust to filling ratio. The filling itself has just the right sugar to lemon juice balance, that isn’t too sweet but still cuts the pucker of the lemons.
I will stop gushing now so you can get baking!
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp lemon zest
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
Mix together ingredients in electric mixer until they form a crumbly mixture.
Press into a 9″x9″ paper lined baking pan, making sure that you press the mixture down firmly with either your spoon or your fingers. You want the crust packed really well, or else the curd will mingle with the crust while cooking and you will end up with a strange shortbread sandwich with curd in the middle.
Cook crust at 180 degrees C for 16-19 minutes. It is done when it is only very lightly browned on the edges.
While the crust is cooking make the filling:
4 large eggs
1 1/3 cups sugar
1 cup lemon juice, freshly squeezed and strained
Mix everything together in a large bowl and pour it over the hot crust. It makes a wonderful sizzling noise.
Cook for a further 20 minutes until the curd is set. To test this take the pan out of the oven and set it on a rack. Tap the sides very gently and see what happens. If there is a slight jiggle you are ok, but if it looks like there are waves or ripples in your curd, it isn’t quite done.
Cool the bars fully before slicing, then dust with icing sugar and serve them to your lemon loving friends. Or eat them all yourself. I won’t judge (and neither will Andy!)